Mike's NBC-TV stories

Apps to find fun things nearby while on road trips

With Memorial Day serving as the unofficial start of summer, it’s time to hit the road and see the best of what the United States and Canada has to offer.

And by using the right apps, you can be sure to get the most of your road trips.

Roadside America helps users find all of the oddities across the United States and Canada, from giant twine balls to other off-the-wall attractions like the Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas. Search for attractions nearby, where headed – even by theme. The Roadside America app delivers a short description, address, and directions. The app is $2.99 for iOS with in-app purchases available to expand capabilities.

History Here is an app for travel developed by History channel. You can learn about history from just about any location, whether near home or venturing to someplace new. History Here also can send notifications when users are close to historical points. Locations are displayed in zoomable, map-based view or a scrolling list. The app is free for iOS and Android.

WhatWasThere detects where users are and shows any historic photos captured nearby, then plots them on a map. Switch the app to camera mode for what the app developers call “an augmented reality experience.” Users who want more detail about the photos can open the info screen for more. The app is free for iOS.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.